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EU: MEPs vote to reject amendments to 'green taxonomy' of Sustainable Finance Action Plan incl. integration of human rights into methodology

Author: Sophie Robinson-Tillett, Responsible Investor, Published on: 13 March 2019

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"EU green taxonomy vote branded ‘disastrous’ as MEPs quash key amendments", 12 March 2019

A vote on the ‘green taxonomy’ last night at the European Parliament has been branded “a circus”, with an [...] outcome which some say “favours financial lobbyists and greenwashing”.

[P]rogressive amendments that would have raised the ambitions of the taxonomy were rejected... 

[T]he result was an unexpected blow for progressive parties and civil society...

Plans to commit the Commission to develop social and governance objectives were rejected, in favour of [...] looser commitments; plans for a ‘brown’ taxonomy for investments “that fund one or several economic activities that cause significant harm to the environment” were also dismissed, along with proposals for a label for financial products and corporate bonds that are found to be aligned with such criteria. 

The integration of human rights also failed to make the cut... ShareAction[’s] European Policy Manager [...] said she urged MEPs to reconsider this point, adding that “minimum social safeguards need to be considered at EU-level to ensure companies are encouraged to mitigate the human rights risks of their operations, and that investors apply the right kind of pressure to ensure this be the case if they want the activities they invest in to be classified as sustainable by the EU”...

It is still possible to change the final agreement by Parliament, but it is much trickier...

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